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Politics Nation

News/Business. The Rev. Al Sharpton discusses the day's important political and human interest stories. New.

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Us 14, Nra 9, Kentucky 6, America 6, Gaviscon 4, Michigan 4, Obama 4, Phillips 3, Bob 3, Mike Huckabee 3, Tucson 3, Virginia 3, Douglas Brinkley 2, Pampers 2, Jack Pinto 2, At Quicken Loans 2, Dana 2, Msnbc 2, Washington 2, Millbank 2,
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  MSNBC    Politics Nation    News/Business. The Rev. Al Sharpton discusses the  
   day's important political and human interest stories. New.  

    December 17, 2012
    3:00 - 4:00pm PST  

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chance they deserve to live out their lives and happiness and with purpose. i've been reflecting on this the last few days. and if we're honest with ourselves, the answer is no. we're not doing enough. and we will have to change. >> we will have to change. with political will power, we can. senator diane feinstein vowed today to introduce gun legislation at the start of the next congress. the bill would ban the sale, transfer and importation of assault weapons. and would also prohibit high-capacity magazines, like the ones used in newtown. there will be those who say such legislation will be impossible to pursue. that the country won't be able to get it done. but there are already signs that this time is different.
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prominent people say this tragedy have changed their positions. both senators have "a" ratings from the nra. senator manchin famously used a rifle to shoot legislation in one campaign ad. but that was before newtown. today, he said this. >> never before have we seen our babies slaughtered. it's never happened in america that i can recall ever seeing this type of carnage. anybody. anybody that lives in america, anybody that's a proud gun owner, anybody that's a proud them ber of the nra, they're also proud parents and proud grandparents. they understand. this has changed, where we go from here. everything has to be on the table and i think it will be. >> now is the time, not months from now, not years from now, but now. martin luther king, jr. once
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says change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability but comes through continuous struggle. it will be a struggle to get gun laws changed. but that doesn't mean we shouldn't fight for it. joining me now is congressman joe courtney, democrat from connecticut and congressman john yomoff, democrat from kentucky. thank you both for coming on the show tonight. >> thanks, reverend. >> let me start with you, congressman, the tragedy happened in your home state. what will we be able to get done? when will we get meaningful gun legislation for those victims. >> well, again, last night, the president laid out the challenge to our country. i think he very powerfully spoke really not just as a political leader, but as a parent that we are failing the test on protecting not only the people of this country but our children. and now the whole world is watching, literally, because
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they were watching last night. but the people in that room where i was, the brothers and sisters of the victims who were there holding stuffed animals, their parents who, you know, the feeling of bewilderment and grief and the first responders and teachers, they expect us to not just let this thing sort of blow over. we cannot let that happen. the assault weapon ban which is certainly being talked about a lot, i voted for that when i was in the state legislature and prepare to do that again. but there are other issue that is we need to look at in terms of ammunition availability and mental health recordkeeping so we have a workable data base for background checks. >> and this issue has been screaming all over the country. but congressman, you wrote today that really, really grabbed me. let me just read part of what really got to me. you said i have been largely
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silent on the issue of gun violence over the past six years. and i am now as sorry for that as what happened to the families who lost so much in the most recent but sadly not isolated tragedy. now, let me just say in fairness, you've never been a favorite of the nra, but you challenged your own silence, which i think shows a lot of leadership and i think a lot of leaders around the country need to look in the mirror. yar mut . >> well, thank you, reverend. i started thinking over the weekend that the reason these things die is that we all move onto other things. and we can't let that do that. we owe responsibility to our families, whether they're in connecticut or kentucky or where ever they might be. and we need to make sure that we continue to speak out, we continue to engage organizations and individuals around the country who will keep the pressure on legislators to make sure something happens, keep the
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pressure on and have teachers and parents from all over the country and psychologists, ultimately grass roots support will trump the power of the nra, however alewis ri it may be. that's why we can't let these things just go away. joe and i are good friends and my heart goes out to all the people in connecticut who are agonizing over this. but their agony is being shared, i'll guarantee you. we had literally hundreds of phone calls and letters in my office before noon today asking the congress to do something. so i think this is different. and, for one, i'm not going to be lulled into this acquiescence that we can't do anything else. we're going to do something. >> so you're saying the way to get this done is grass roots, people all over the country because this problem of automatic weapons goes across all lines of region, of
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demographi demographics, of gender, of politics. people are feeling this from the urban to the suburban, congressman. >> absolutely. and no one could look at this incredible tragedy and believe that the answer is to either have every child carry a gun in their lunchbox or to arm principals or teachers. this is not the answer. congress has a responsibility here. legislatures across the country have responsibleties. city councils have responsibleties. but they will move very decisively if they know people are behind them. and there's no question that people are behind decisive action now. >> congressman courtney, you sat in that room last night and i know what it is to be among people that have lost something for no reason. but i couldn't imagine 20 caskets with 4-year-olds to 10 years old. i went through that one time this year with a 4-year-old. i mean, when americans are seeing children being buried,
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how does any of us walk away without feeling compelled to do something, no matter how cynical or no matter how much we've given up? >> when the president did the role call of the children's names and the reaction in the room, i've been to a number of funerals in my day, as well, reverend. and i've never experienced anything as raw and just agonizing as listening to the response that was happening, again, all over that auditorium. you know, i was telling john this morning, i was driving through the back roads in connecticut this morning on the way to the airport and i drove by a number of schools in my district. and at every single one of them, there was a police cruiser stationed outside the entrance to the school. it was a plan that the state police and local police did to just kind of reassure parents and children on the first day after this horrible incident. but it really, in a way, also shows how inadequate. we can't turn schools into fortresses.
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that's just not a solution. and we've got to have a much broader, more meaningful solution to this problem which, again, the president laid out the challenge. now we've got to act. >> and the people have to act. congressman court kneney, 54% o those polled support stricter gun laws. 59% support a ban on high capacity ammunition clips, 52% support a ban on semi-automatic handguns. there are about 10 laws that congress could pass right now to deal with the gun problem. everything from gun trafficking to better regulation gun shows to stopping online ammunition sales whachlt s what's holding ? what is holding congress up? >> well, again, i think right now we were just talking to one of our leaders off-camera a minute ago. but the key here is just to, again, make sure that we quickly go to the leadership of the house and just say that, you
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know, we expect that this be dealt with with a vote as soon as possible. even this week, if it was possible, to bring it up as a suspension vote. but january 3rd is right around the corner. and i think that we're going to see, particularly with some of the new members coming in, that this issue is going to come flying out of the gate. >> congressman, we've also got to deal with mental health. but with you coming from kentucky where it takes courage to stand up, are you ready to help lead this charge? >> abslultly. i came to congress for a number of reasons. this wasn't necessarily one of them, but this is the reason i'm in congress, as far as i'm concerned. i'm going to do whatever it takes to lead the charge in my state. i had a republican member of the kentucky delegation today a-rated by the national rifle association say the president was right. we need to take meaningful action. we need to capture that spirit while it still exists and feed that momentum as much as we can. i think we can get change.
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>> and this was a republican colleague from kentucky? >> yes, republican colleague from kentucky a-rated from the nra cht a. and he's ready to do something. congressman courtney and congressman yarmuth, thank you for your presence tonight. >> thanks, reverend. >> coming up, conservatives are blaming everything in the world for gun violence except guns. mike huckabee had an explanation that has a lot of folks scratching their heads. plus, think the nra is all-powerful? think again. the gun lobby can be overcome and more and more politicians are talking about it. and this tragedy has changed a country, but has also changed the president. we'll talk about how president obama himself is looking at gun violence in a new way with a new determination. you're watching po ining "polit
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nation" on msnbc. >> we can't accept events like this as routine. are we really prepared to say that we're powerless? in the face of such carnage? that the politics are too hard? are we prepared to say that such violence visited on our children year after year after year is somehow the price of our freedom? i gave birth to my daughter on may 18th, five days later, i had a massive heart attack. bayer aspirin was the first thing the emts gave me. now, i'm on a bayer aspirin regimen. [ male announcer ] be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen. [ woman ] learn from my story.
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>> the "politics nation" family has been mourning the deaths of the sanity hook's shooting all weekend. today, people had a lot to say about this touching photo of president obama holding the granddaughter of the school's principal who was killed in the attack. genelle called him the comforter-in-chief. richard says he's a man with a
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golden heart. fifi says the president owes it to that little girl and her slain grandmother to turn these children's and teacher's ashes into a right, purposeful and just action. we want you to share your thoughts on this tragic shooting. please head over to facebook and search "politics nation" and like us to join the conversation long after the show ends. cute. but don't you have any apps on your phone that can make your life easier? who do you think i am, quicken loans? at quicken loans, we'll provide you with myql mobile. this amazingly useful app allows you to take pictures of your mortgage documents using an iphone or android smart phone... so you can easily send them to us. one more way quicken loans is engineered to amaze. ooh, la-la!
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been uncharacteristically quiet. the national rifle association. since friday morning, the nra facebook page has been totally deactivated. the nra twitter feed has gone silent and the nra headquarters reportedly shut down its switchboard friday and didn't return e-mails for comment. the only somethithing the nra s no comment. after the tragic shootings at an aurora movie theater this summer that left 12 people dead. the nra's silence at this critical moment is shameful and telling. and more and more, politicians are calling them out. >> this myth that the nra can destroy political careers is just not true.
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there's this myth that the nra is so powerful, you go back to what happened when the democrats lost after the assault weapons ban, i don't know that you can. they want to stop this carnage. >> the american people do want to stop the carnage. the nra may not be talking. but we'll all have to make them listen. joining me now is a congressman from the brady campaign. he's also a survivor from the virginia tech shooting in 2007 when he was shot four times by a lone gunman who killed 32 people. and dana millbank, columnist from the washington post. thank you both for being here tonight. >> thank you, reverend. >> colin, let me go to you first. is mayor bloomberg right? is the nra's power overrated. >> >> absolutely.
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you can look back at this past election we just had. the amount of millions of dollars they spent in races across the country and they have nothing really to show for it. ask senator elect tim kane from v virginia? they swung hard and he's coming to d.c. realize that the nra is not the all-powerful lobby that everyone thinks it was. we're realizing that any special interest is not as powerful as the american people who come together and make their voices heard and get out raged. and that's what we've seen. it's been overwhelming, the response we've had, from republicans and progressives and from everyone across the country. when you see images like that of little kids, that shakes your humanity, no matter who you are. no one wants to see that. now we're realizing that we've got to no longer do what's in the best interest of a lobby and and industry but what's in the best interest of every single one of us. >> dana, what is going on with
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that? it is true that the nra has not shown that it's invipsble. in fact, they spent $16.5 million on the november elections. only 0.81% of that money back winning candidates. so what is the real score cards, dana? >> i think a lot of republicans, particularly house republicans are terrified of the nra because they're worried if they make one false move, they'll end up with a primary challenge. but that's not really where the power is in this situation here. the nra is following a very familiar script and that is to just go dark and be quiet. let it blow over. and then start the lobbying w n when -- you know, a few weeks later when there's the inevitable effort for gun control. that's when i hear president obama saying in the coming weeks, this is the time when the nra is back on it heels. you really need to press now and not wait for them to regain the
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strangle hold over so many members that they had. >> now, i think that's a legitimate concern. today, majority leader harry reed talked about the conversation that has to happen about gun control. let me play you, senator reed, colin. >> no one can receive them. no policy can determine a madman from committing a senseless act of violence. but we need to accept the realty that we're not doing enough to protect our citizens. the coming days and weeks, we'll engage in a meaningful confers and thoughtful debate to change our culture. >> isn't that true that in the coming weeks that we need to use the coming hours, this window open now, kcolin, where america is seeing the most despicable, and, in my opinion, diabolical act we've seen on children? this many children at one time?
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that we need to use right now to move this agenda forward about gun reform, colin? >> absolutely. which is why we've seen an overwhelming amount of new people, new supporters, new followers on facebook and twitter. people are coming around the idea that the president said we have to take meaningful action on this, despite the politics, you know? he understands that we're better than this. that we deserve a nation that's better than this for all of us. that's why we created we are better than this. this idea that we can do better. that we don't have to accept these things as normal anymore. there is a status quo that no longer is going going to remain in this country. giving them space to step forward on this issue. to be leaders on this issue that they want to be. that's how we will see change. that's how we will have a safer nation for every single one of us. >> and coming together, because this has been happening in a lot
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of cities around the country, now we're seeing there's no difference between the suburbs and the urban areas. everyone coming together and even, dana, when you look at the polling of the nra membership, they want firearm legislation. look at a recent poll. 74%, this is nra members, 74% support background checks on gun owners. 74% say concealed carry permits should only be granted after safety training course. 63% say concealed carry permits should only be granted to adults 21 and over. 75% say no concealed carry permits for violent misdemeanor perpetrators. when you see even their membership, it's the leadership that seems to be holding back and sending out the lobbyists, even in the nra, even their membership doesn't reflect the hardened position that some of the leadership has taken, dana. >> i think that's right,
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reverend. and those numbers are going to get substantially worse for the nra now. that's why you saw people like joe manchin, the democratic senator from west virginia and mark warren, both nra, pro-gun guys, saying enough is enough. it's time for some sensible restrictions here. it is really hoped a window right now. and i think that's why speed is of the essence. because, you know, there's a lot of money to be spent in fighting back against this. but you do have the public's attention now. and the public's attention can definitely outmatch special interest groups when it's being concentrated. but once it dissipates, it becomes more difficult again. >> the senator says she's going to present a bill at the opening of congress that would deal with ammunition clips and would deal with the issues around gun control, assault weapons. is that fast enough? is that hard enough?
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is that strong enough, dana? >> well, look, people in the white house are saying we are all focusing on not having tax increases for every american right now. christmas is a week away. it would be very difficult to do it right now. but what we have seen each time in the past is there's all of these good intentions. and then, for some reason, nothing ever happened. there's a lot of noise that this time, finally it's gone too far. finally, there's going to be some change. but, you know, we've seen vergszs vergs versions of this movie before, rove rened, that i wouldn't be too confident. >> there are those that don't you think the activists and the gras roots that want to see change has to keep this in front of the public? >> absolutely. we can't let this issue fall sigh lent. 32 of us are going to be murdered tomorrow if tomorrow is an average american day like every other day. we need to do something that all of us can get behind. things that all of us already support.
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most of us don't know that we don't have things like background checks on all gun sales. that we sell military weaponst to the general public. people are shocked when they realize that. when they do, things change. >> colin, i'm going to have to leave you there. colin and dana millbank, thanks for your time tonight. >> thanks, reverend. >> thanks. >> still ahead, mike huckabee's stunning comment after the sandy hook tragedy. why are so many conservatives refusing to admit that guns are the problem? we'll look at president obama's reaction to the tragedy as a leader and as a father. you're watching "politics nation" on msnbc. [ male announcer ] research suggests cell health
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welcome back to "politics nation. millions of america watched pro-football players paying tribute on sunday. 6-year-old jack pinto was a big fan of the new york jients. at his funeral today, he was laid to rest in a giant's jersey. he was also a big fan of new york wide receiver victor cruz. on sunday, victor cruz tweeted today's game is for you, jack. cruz played the game with the
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words jack pinto, my hero, written on his cleats. jack's classmate noah pozner was also laid to rest today. he was a loving boy inseparable from his siblings, spespecially his sister, ariel who survived the shooting, by the way. we must honor their memory with real change and real solutions. too many politicians aren't getting that message yet. we must make them pay attention. we'll talk about that next. [ female announcer ] almost nothing can dampen a baby's mood, when he wakes up dry in pampers. unlike other diapers, pampers has 3 absorbent layers, for up to 12 hours of protection overnight, and more beautiful mornings. ♪
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americans are now starting to have the big, national conversation. we need to have about gun safety in this country. for republican politicians? not so much. >> we reached out to all 31
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pro-gun senators to share their views this morning. >> we had no takers. >> i think we should note that we tried to get a republican from the judiciary committee, but all of the members were either unavailable or said no. >> as for the few republicans who did want to talk, they offered bizarre ideas like the solution to gun violence is more guns. >> i wish to god that she had an m-4 in her office locked up so she pulls it out and she didn't have to lunge heroically with nothing in her hands, but she takes him out, takes his head off before he can kill those precious kids. >> and i'm not so sure -- and i'm sure i'll get mail from this -- but i'm not so sure i would want one person in a school armed, ready for this kind of thing. >> arming teachers. is that really where we are in this country? in michigan, republicans are on
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the verge of exactly that. the republican governor, rick snyder, is debating whether to sign a new bill that would allow concealed weapons in churches and schools. gop lawmakers passed a bill last week late at night in a lame duck session, literally, literally just hours before the tragedy at sandy hook. now snyder says he'll give the bill extra consideration. what that consideration is will be looked at through the lens of everything that's happened. the governor seems to understand that everything that has happened may not be acceptable anymore. but is the rest of the gop ready to listen? joining me now is michigan state representative brandon dillen, the democrat who spoke out forcefully against this new bill. and michelle cotter, washington
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correspondent for the daily beast. thank you both for joaning me. >> representative dilldillen, d governor snyder think we need more guns in schools after what happened in connecticut? >> well, i certainly hope not. >> he had to sign a bill to pass the legislature as we said in the wee hours thursday night that would allow guns in schools, churches and day care centers. i hope that the governor listens to common sense here and takes this tragedy to heart and vetoes this bill. >> michelle, as spokesman for the coalition in michigan the coalition for responsible gun leaders says if you have pistol zones, they're actually mass murderer empowerment zones. >> you know, that would be laughable if it weren't so sad.
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>> you can say this is a bizarre aproemp and a bizarre reasoning, but it's not new. i can't think of a time that we had this kind of response in the wake of someone's tragedies. you always had someone pushing back saying well, if only someone in that area would have been armed, we could have ended this faster. but that just seems about as counter intuitive as you could look for in terms of addressing the issue. now, not only do you have that, representative dillen, you look at the national groups supporting guns in the schools. larry pratt, the executive director of gun owners of america actually said gun control supporters have the blood of little children on their hands. this tragedy underscores the urgency of gun control in school zones. if we didn't have a gun ban in the school zone in newtown, i
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mean, that would have stopped what this madman did? >> it's a desperate attempt to try to deflect responsibility for this tragedy. i don't think i've ever talked to anybody who believes that the solution to these tragedies that we've seen in our schools over the last few years is to put more guns in schools. i heard that argument driving over here to the studio and it's frankly preposterous to believe that children are going to be safler in their schools if we allow everybody to carry guns into them. >> now, michelle, mike huckabee made a statement about, well, let me play for you the stamt that he made about god and the violence in the schools. listen to mr. huckabee. >> we asked why there's violence in our schools, but we systematically removed god from our schools.
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should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage? we've made it a place where we don't want to talk about eternity, life, what responsibility means, accountability. >> now, i'm a preacher just like huckabee, and i believe in god and prayer. but isn't this a smoke screen to the issue of guns and violence? this man didn't attend the school. this was a gun issue and possibly a mental health issue, michelle. >> any time you have a politician in this case an ex-politician bring god or the wrath of god or how we've mistreated god, it is a last, desperate and utterly disgusting attempt to skirt the issues at hand.
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>> any time that's out, it reprehensible in this case. clearly t problem snt the belief in good but how we protect god's children. but talking about other than dealing with the i shall shoe, representative dillen, mitt romney, during the presidentble debate, he had a different suggest on what the problem was with gun violence. watch this. >> moms and dads helping raise kids, where ever possible, the benefit of having two parent ins the home. and that's not always possible. a lot of great single moms, single dads. but, gosh, to tell our kids that before they had babies, they ought to think about getting married to someone, that's a great idea. we can make changes in how our culture works. >> single parent homes tell people to get married.
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>> i come out of a single parent home. anything other than to deal with the fact that you're selling magazines with a hundred rounds of ammunition, you're closing mental health centers. blame it on broken homes. >> well, ref rened sharpton, you're absolutely right. i think there's an opportunity to have a reasonable discussion about this issue that respects the rights of those who want to keep and bear arms respects the second amendment but doesn't jump to the logical conclusion that the solution is to have more guns on the street or to assume that if we just turn our heads, the problem is going to go away. we need to actually focus on a broad range of solutions to this problem and not try to scapegoat people or pigeon hole people, make sound bytes and don't offer any real solutions. >> dana, thank you, michelle kottle, thank you for your time tonight. still ahead, this is the fourth time president obama has had to lead the nation through a
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president obama spoke to the
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nation last night as a leader, but also as a father. he began the day in the morning by attending his daughter, sasha's, dance recital. he ended the day by meeting the parents of these tiny victims and asking the nation to stop another tragedy. >> we bear responsibility for every child because we're counting on everybody else to help look after ours. we're all parents. they're all our children. since i've been president, this is the fourth time we have come together to comfort a grieving community torn apart by mass shooting. fourth time we've hugged survivors. the fourth time we've consoled the father and mothmilies of vi. and in between, there have been an endless series of deadly shooting across the country,
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almost daily reports of victims, many of them children, in small towns and big cities all across america. victims whose much of the time their only fault was being in the wrong place at the wrong time. we can't tolerate this anymore. these tragedies must end. and to end them, we must change. in the coming weeks, i'll use whatever power this office holds to engage my fellow citizens from law enforcement to mental health professionals to parents and educators. in an effort aimed at preventing more tragedies like this. because what choice do we have? we can't accept events like this as routine. >> the president said the children in newtown were all of our children.
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and he'll use his office to prevent more tragedies. joining me now is presidential historian douglas brinkley, professor at rice university. thank you for being here tonight. >> thank you for having me. >> you know, this speech was important as a moment for this president as any. but there was also a call for political action. to get something done. how did you see it? >> well, i think he did a great job as sort of grief counselor for the nation and it reminds one of what he had to do in tucson, what he had to do with fort la hood, it reminds me what ronald reagan did with the challenger and bill clinton during oklahoma city. but this is difference. the president of the united states said we cannot take care of our own children in this country. and i think he did the exact right tone of being there to console the country. but now action is needed. we need a sandy hook me moral tragedy act that gets passed. and i think he can't wait until
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the state of the union address in january to address it. it's got to do some things quickly. >> now, you're a historian. give me the historic view of where this would line up with other historic speeches by presidents in the time of crisis. >> well, i mention those two to you. but i think one has to look at this as a time of action now. you look at when john f. kennedy was killed and lyndon johnson came in with we must overcome. but it wasn't just a speech. it had legislation associated. with had a santa barbara oil spill and the country was horrified. the environmental protection act came. life throws you curve balls. this is a big, sad one. and the president now is going to have to put gun control ahead of immigration reform, which was going to be the beginning of the second term, as a number one priority of the country. >> the president had tax reform
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and now he's going to have to deal with gun control and gun control moves up. at the same time, he's had to comfort. when i look at the photos of him meeting with the sandy hook victim's families before last night's vigil, he's playing the comforter and one that understands. but then leading a charge, a call to action. >> we need some of these first rate groups to come out now and break away from the nra on this issue. >> when you have sandy and can free that, we need political leadership. the president is ready to do it. we need more people in capitol hill and in state houses around the country to do it.
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>> does the president's eloquence last night, if it is matched by a legislative push, does he put the opponents to gun control to gun reform on the defensive if he goes all in, if feinstein proposes something and they really bring this down to whose side are you on in the congress? >> that's my worry if you wait too long. i think the president has to use all the executive power. there are things the president, the justice department can do immediately. background checks that make it much harder, you know, to get assault rifles. and even a continuation of what was once a ban on assault rifles. but i believe bush got rid of that in 2004. we need to bring it back. so i think in the next ten days, say, before christmas, no use talking about the tragedy. he's got to do everything he can with his executive power and then also go the legislative route. >> you said about the four
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incidents, big, mass murders that he's had to deal with. and there's been murders in cities all over the country, chicago, his hometown. but he's dealt with fort hood, tucson, aurora and now newtown. are we seeing more mass murders? or are they just becoming more agreejous and despicable? why are we seeing four under this president? >> we've always been a country of violence and gun violence. but it does seem to be that, in this way, hollywood, system of these horrible with violence and movies and on cable television and all, we've become a nation of violence. and, in some ways, eating popcorn and you watch it and it doesn't matter. but this one, when it's babies being slaughtered, i think is even different than fort hood and different than tucson. this is something that gets at what it means to be a human being and our country has to do something. >> well, it's scary that we entertain with bloodshed.
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maybe this will wake us up a sick and sad way to have to be awakened, though. professor douglas brinkley, thanks for your time tonight. ahead, new signs that this tragedy has changed the gun debate in this country. sta with us. you know how painful heartburn can be. for fast, long lasting relief, use doctor recommended gaviscon®. only gaviscon® forms a protective barrier that helps block stomach acid from splashing up- relieving the pain quickly.
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allows you to quickly calculate your mortgage payment based on today's incredibly low interest rates... right from your iphone or android smartphone. one more way quicken loans is engineered to amaze. ♪ can changes really change? is barack obama president? he is. which means things can change. and last night, he reminded american people we can do better. >> no single law, no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society. but that can't be an excuse for an action. surely we can do better than this. >> we can do better and we must. today, we have new signs that
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the tragedy in sandy hook elementary has changed the gun control debate. a new reuters poll showed that 50% now favor strong regulation for gun ownership. up 8 points from before the shooting. 84% support background checks. that's up 7%. and 60% support limits on automatic weapons, up 6%. this tragedy is different. and it's changing how americans feel about this issue. but we must also remember the terrible truth. little kids die from guns every day. since 1979, more than 116,000 children and teenagers have been killed in gun violence. 116,000. all year we've seen killings from chicago to flint michigan to new york.
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already, we've seen children killed in the bronx. too long have we buried children in silence. >> now, everyone is beginning to see that it's the suburbs, it's urban, it's black, it's white, rich or poor. we have no choice to deal with a societal problem. today, people were asking what was wrong with this shooter. 20 years from now, if we don't solve the problem, they'll be asking what was wrong with us. thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. "hardball" starts right now. >> law and order. let's play "hardball."
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>> good evening, i'm chris matthews down in washington. let me start with this. is gun violence, mass violence against children the price we pay for freedom? is watching and doing nothing what we have to put up with to obey the second amendment? is it? we're supposed to do nothing because the constitution upholds the right to bear arms. well, we have easy access to semi-automatic weapons in this country. is it a good society that does this, allows it? i ask the questions knowing the only way we can end this is with the votes of politicians from deer hunting country, not from the big cities. will they be there? will politicians who fear the gun lobby bear up under the strain of attack against any measure, no matter how small, to curb the power of the gun owners? the question tonight, what should and, most importantly, can be done to stop this kind of gun violence? and if nng

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